TIME magazine recently named Israel’s Negev Desert as one of the World’s Greatest Places for 2021. And for good reason, too, since despite its seemingly arid appearance the southern desert is one of the most fascinating places in the country.
The most remarkable thing about the Negev Desert, at least in our opinion, is the stunning views that emanate from absolutely everywhere. There’s the uniquely magnificent Makhtesh Ramon, of course, but other gorgeous views include the deep gorges of Zin Valley, the colorful Red Canyon in the Eilat Mountains, and the lunar landscape of Hamukei Nitzana.
There’s a wide variety of hikes available in the area, ranging from easy-to-do and kid-friendly short walks to grueling treks that are perfect for the pros.
Wine is probably the last thing you’d associate with the arid desert landscape. Luckily, a few souls did, and the result is fabulous wines right in the middle of the Negev’s sandy expanses. We particularly like Nana Winery, located in Mitzpe Ramon – not only does it offer a fabulous Chenin Blanc, but also unusual, boutique accommodation a stroll away from its vineyards.
The Negev Desert is home to many different vibrant communities – think Bedouin, students, farmers, cyber experts, pioneers, or people who are all of the above. Book a tour, check out a visitors’ center, or just strike up a conversation, and you’ll be rewarded with a sneak peek of people as extraordinary as their surroundings.